Church Planting

5 Problems With Our Current Discipleship Models and Suggestions For Change

discipleship models

My job is to honestly preach the word, not to hold people accountable,” said the slightly defensive Christian leader to my friend. It is a common perception among us pastors. A hands-off approach lets us off the hook. We say things like; “I will do my part, God will do His.” Or “Everyone has free will. Our job is to give them the Gospel (information), they choose what they want to do with it.”

There is truth to these statements. Where we go wrong is when we label the above as discipleship. Is the idea of “live and let live”, a Biblical approach to discipleship? Is a “you do you” worldview taking precedence over living and ministering like Jesus? read more

Why Individualistic Disciple Making Will Keep You Stuck in Addition Growth

start groups

Western culture is very individualistic. “Every person has a right to make their own decision,” we say. My passport culture places a high value on individual rights. Individualism is deeply embedded in the American worldview. The impact of the West on the way we do evangelism and disciple-making around the world is significant. It’s a hindrance to starting movements. If we want to launch DMMs, we must shift our mindset and actions toward always starting groups.

This will cause the movement to spread rapidly and exponentially. A focus only on individual discipleship will multiply much more slowly. read more

Emphasize the Basic 7 Commands of Christ As You Train New Disciple Makers

7 commands of Christ

What? Did Jesus teach seven commands? I’ve never seen a list like this in the Bible!” he exclaimed. “I thought Christ came to set us free from the law of sin and death.” This brother thought we were heretical for even using the phrase “the seven commands of Christ” as we trained new believers. I see his point. We certainly don’t want to re-impose an Old Testament system of legalism.

What we do want is to obey the Great Commission. Jesus said, “Teach them to obey all I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:18-20) read more

Practice Disciple Making Skills? It’s What Jesus & Paul Both Said To Do

practice disciple-making

Practice. Practice. Practice. “But I don’t like to practice, I like to play.” When I was a teenager, I played on a basketball team. I hated practices. We would dribble the ball up and down the court and shoot layups for hours. It was tiring and boring. I preferred the games. They were fun! Without practice though, we didn’t win games. Practicing disciple making skills is no different.

For some reason, we think that doing things like evangelism and disciple making shouldn’t need practice. It should flow out of us without any training or effort. This is not actually what either Jesus or Paul said. They used the word practice to describe the learning and applying process. read more

How To Motivate the Passive (And Yourself) to Multiply Disciples

motivate

Our world is saturated with easy life marketing. “Use this product, ___________ (fill in the blank) and your life will be easier.” This is part of why shifting from a church member/attendee approach can be challenging. We like things to be easy. The easier, the better. But this is not the way of Jesus. He said it’s the easy path that leads to destruction, and the hard road to life eternal (Matt. 7:13).

As Disciple Making Movement practitioners we ask the question. How do we motivate those we are sharing Jesus with, to choose a difficult path? What about those we are trying to inspire to join us in working to see a movement of disciples released? read more

3 Mistakes in Disciple-Making

Most disciple-makers, pastors, and Christian leaders want to see greater fruit in their ministries. Our hearts long for the rapid expansion of God’s Kingdom on earth. Yet often, what we long for and what we experience are quite different. There is a better way, a more effective way to see your community reached. Avoiding a few common disciple-making mistakes can have a tremendous impact.

Let’s unpack these.

  1. Making Things Complicated.
  2. Releasing New Believers Too Slowly.
  3. Focusing on Individuals, Not Groups.
Dandelions multiply naturally and organically. Disciples can do the same.

Making Things Complicated

Our human tendency is to over-complicate things. Spiritual practices are no different. Jesus kept things simple. read more

What Are “Borderless Nets” and How Do I Cast One?

borderless nets

A few days ago, a friend from Bangladesh used the term “borderless nets” in a chat message. It caught my attention. I’m not sure where he got the term, or if someone else used it first. I immediately asked the question that is now the title of this blog. What are ‘borderless nets’ and how do I cast one? I thought about Luke chapter five. Could casting “borderless nets” help us catch the huge number of fish not possible in other ways?

Covid-19 forced us to think and work in new, innovative ways. It pushed us out of the box (or rut) we were in. God is like that. He turns horrible things the enemy intends for evil into good for His kingdom. read more

Ever Feel Like You Don’t Have What It Takes?

enough for fruit

As we work in Disciple Making Movements, it is common for us to think that we need more. We think, “If we only had more money it would be so much easier to do what we are called to do. if we had more workers…we would finally get results,” we tell ourselves. Or, “If we had more training and more understanding…then things would start happening.” We have come to believe that we need more, that we do not have enough to do what God has called us to do to see a movement of Jesus’ disciples start. read more

5 Ways to Love Your Neighbor

How do we effectively love our neighbors? Why does it feel so awkward and uncomfortable at times? Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, but what does that look like practically? It’s different in different cultures, but some things are true in all contexts.

I recently interviewed Dave Ferguson about his recent book B.L.E.S.S. Watch the full one hour interview below.

B.L.E.S.S. stands for:

  • Begin with prayer,
  • Listen,
  • Eat,
  • Serve,
  • Story.
Watch full interview with Dave Ferguson

Prayer is the foundation of everything we do. Dave talks about the importance of making a list of people you pray for regularly by name. read more

What Matters Most? Church Traditions, NT Practices, or the Commands of Christ?

church tradition

Can a layperson or woman baptize? Are baby dedications important or should we baptize the babies of Christian parents? Do pastors need to wear a tie when they preach? These and many other questions we face have a lot to do with church traditions. When we go to the Word of God, on many of these things, we find little (if any) specific guidance.

How do you sort out what to do in your Disciple Making Movement effort? Is it helpful to follow your own denominational tradition? Or do you need to embrace a different way of doing things if you want to see a DMM? read more